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Protel programming

Programming of Protel board has to be done with the ExpressNet. This requires:

  • a PC with MS-DOS 5.0 / 6.22, ideally a PC from the era - 386, 486 or Pentium. Windows 95 or 98 should work in DOS mode but might require some effort
  • Software works with Oracle VirtualBox as well but it's more likely to fail, so a real PC is recommended
  • a modem - internal or external is fine, hardware modem preferred. Winmodems / also known as Softmodems might work but chances are low. For the 7000 board, a Protel modem is recommended, but a regular modem may work at 300 bps as well.
  • two phone lines are needed and it cannot be VoIP adapter. Phone would answer and handshake successfully, but will fail soon after. I've tried with both Grandstream and Linksys/Cisco adapters and various settings. There is a workaround - described in Phone lines page. An analog PBX would be ideal, or a line emulator, or a landline - but who has it?

Main screen of the ExpressNet:

Interface is pretty simple and well explained in the manual, but I have a few advices:

  • Initial user / password is: PROTEL / PROTELX3
  • Screen 2.6.2 (from the main screen: press 6, 2) lets you disable the password
  • Screen 2.6.1 lets you select which COM ports are active (have modem connected)
  • Screen 2.5.4, then choose COM port, it shows the modem settings. Important parameters:
    • Parity / bits / stop: has to be set at N / 8 / 2
    • Protel Modem: “Y” for Protel UPMS1200, “N” otherwise
    • Change/Test Modem: this is very important if you're using a non-Protel modem. It lets you set the modem parameters (init string). Press enter, then highlight “Other”, press F7. A new screen will show up (as below). In the Init line, after S7=100, append speed settings. For US Robotics and similar modems, this would be: &N1 for 300 bps, &N2 for 1200 bps. Other modems, eg. Conexant, may have it different: +MSB103 for Bell 300 bps, +MSB212 for Bell 1200 bps, +MSV21 and +MSV22 for ITU 300 / 1200 bps respectively.

Video manual

Creating a rate file

Rates can be (unlike with Elcotel) prepared from scratch, or based on another file. A sample rate file I prepared for myself, based on the latest (07.2023) area code list including announced changes in the coming years, you can find below and modify to your needs. It is simple: 25ct/3min for “local” calls (whole Phoenix metropolitan area: 480, 602, 623), 50ct/3min for long distance USA, same rate for Canada (but a separate band just in case you need to change it), 75ct/min for Caribbean islands, $1.50/min to other premium rate (currently only (473) - Grenada). Toll free calls are priced 10ct/3min. 7-digit dialing is priced as local, but on a different band. Additionally, 7-digit numbers go thru the route 8001 which adds a “#” digit for a faster connection, it can be modified to dial out a 10-digit number instead. Prices are adjusted in a way that (a very popular VoIP provider) would not be charging more, ie. you'd not be loosing money.

How to adjust it to your needs? You need to do the following:

  • Adjust the band prices (screen 2.2.2).
  • If you don't live in Phoenix AZ, change the “local” area codes (screen Change 480, 602, 623 to “3” (long distance) and change your local NPA's to “2”.
  • Mind that band #1 as defined in the single-band NPA for the toll-free numbers is overridden by a band #104 (1-800)
  • Go to multi-band NPAs (screen Delete the 602 NPA (F5). Add your local NPA (F3), F2 to save, Enter, press F10 to change all NXXs to “7”. Save, press F6 to make it a 7-digit NXX.

How to install the rate file?

  • Extract the file into C:\XNET\SITES\IMPORT
  • Start ExpressNet, press 7, 5 (Import)
  • Select “Costing Record Data” and press F2.
  • See the rates menu. PHOENIX_602 should appear. You can edit it, or clone, and assign to the site.

Bands used:

Band Description Rate
0 Disallowed 0/0
1 Toll free 10ct / 3min
2 USA continental / local 25ct / 3min
3 USA continental / long distance 50ct / 3min
4 Canada 50ct / 3min
5 Carribean 75ct / 1min
6 Other / premium rate > 50ct/min $1.5 / min
7 7-digit dialing (rate same as [2] usually) 25ct / 3min

smart/protel/program.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/05 19:50 by admin

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